Social desirability bias and self-reports of motivation: A study of Amazon Mechanical Turk in the US and India

Judd Antin*, Aaron Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we extend research on online collaboration by examining motivation to do work on the crowdsoucing service Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). We address a challenge to many existing studies of motivation in online contexts: they are based on survey self-reports, which are susceptible to effects such as social desirability bias. In addition we investigate a second challenge to the extant research on motivation in the context of MTurk: a failure to examine potential differences between MTurk workers (Turkers) from different parts of the world, especially those from the US and India, MTurk's two largest worker groups. Using a survey technique called the list experiment, we observe distinct profiles of motivation and patterns of social desirability effects among Turkers in the US and India. Among US Turkers, we find that social desirability encourages over-reporting of each of four motivating factors we examined. The over-reporting was particularly large in the case of money as a motivator. In contrast, among Turkers in India we find a more complex pattern of social desirability effects, with workers under-reporting "killing time" and "fun" as motivations, and drastically over-reporting "sense of purpose." We conclude by discussing these results and proposing implications for future research and design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - The 30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
Pages2925-2934
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2012
Event30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: May 5 2012May 10 2012

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period5/5/125/10/12

Keywords

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Distributed work
  • Motivation
  • Social desirability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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